ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE: Pope Francis on Sunday said he won’t label Islam as “terrorist” because that would be unfair and not true.
Utv Pakistan Report
Reporters aboard the papal plane flying him home after a visit to Poland that began the day after extremists slit the throat of an elderly priest celebrating Mass in a French church, asked him why he never uses the world “Islam” to describe terrorism or other violence.
While in Poland, Francis made an unscheduled stop at a church in Krakow to implore God to protect people from the “devastating wave” of terrorism in many part of the world.
Francis replied,“It’s not right to identify Islam with violence. It’s not right and it’s not true.”
He added: “I believe that in every religion there is always a little fundamentalist group.”
“I don’t like to talk of Islamic violence because every day, when I go through the newspapers, I see violence, this man who kills his girlfriend, another who kills his mother-in-law,” Francis said, in apparent reference to crime news in the predominantly Catholic country of Italy. “And these are baptized Catholics. If I speak of Islamic violence, then I have to speak of Catholic violence.”
Noting he has spoken with imams, he concluded: “I know how they think, they are looking for peace.”
As for the Daesh, he said it “presents itself with a violent identity card, but that’s not Islam.”
Francis spoke on the day when Muslims in France and Italy flocked to Mass to Sunday Mass in a show of interfaith solidarity following a string of extremist attacks threatening to sharpen religious divides across Europe.
Pope Francis has explained why he took a tumble last week during a public Mass outdoors in public while on a pilgrimage.
Reporters asked him Sunday night how come he fell while sprinkling incense around the outdoor altar at the Jasna Gora monastery, in Czestochowa, before a huge crowd at Poland’s most popular Catholic shrine.
Francis says the July 28 tumble happened this way: “I was watching (an image of) the Madonna, and I forgot the step.”
He credited his reflect action with having him escape any injury.
“I let myself fall, and this saved me. Because if I tried to resist it, I would have gotten hurt.”
Vatican officials said Francis, 79, was uninjured.